What does the Raiders signing Marcus Mariota mean for Derek Carr?

Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images
Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images /

The Las Vegas Raiders have agreed to a deal with Marcus Mariota, so what does that mean for starting quarterback Derek Carr moving forward?

Much like the Tennessee Titans did a year ago with Ryan Tannehill, the Las Vegas Raiders are adding a starting-caliber quarterback to serve as their backup in case things go south with Derek Carr in the near future.

According to NFL insider Ian Rapoport, the Raiders have agreed in principle to a deal with Mariota, the very quarterback who wound up being replaced in a similar situation after Ryan Tannehill took the starting job in Tennessee and helped lead the Titans to the AFC Championship game as the Comeback Player of the Year.

The question is, what will Mariota’s arrival mean for Derek Carr, the current starting QB in Las Vegas?

More than likely, this is just a forward-thinking Plan B in case Carr suffers another serious injury like his broken fibula near the end of the 2016 season. There have also been questions about whether the Raiders can reach their ceiling with Carr under center, although he just threw for 4,054 passing yards and completed 70.4 percent of his passes for a 100.8 passer rating — all career highs.

Back in 2016, when “Super Mariota” threw for 26 touchdowns and 3,426 yards with a 95.6 passer rating, it felt like he was the future of the Tennessee Titans. But his numbers never reached those same heights over the next two and a half seasons, and Tannehill became the fallback option that worked out for the best (thanks in no small part to Derrick Henry).

Because of Mariota’s professionalism while being benched, the Raiders reportedly feel comfortable in bringing him on board to be Carr’s backup. If the 28-year-old Carr suffers a serious injury, gets banged up the Raiders feel like they can’t break through their ceiling with him under center, Jon Gruden will have a younger alternative.

Bringing the 26-year-old Mariota on board puts a little more pressure on Carr to perform and gives Las Vegas a solid Plan B to fall back on should he fail to do so for whatever reason.

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